Get Our Free Copywriting Proposal Template

What's in This Template?

  • A step-by-step framework to help you create persuasive proposals in record time
  • Designed to captivate clients and break down technical copywriting services (to position you as the best choice for any project)
  • The perfect proposal length to ensure it gets read so you improve your win rate
  • And more!

What Is A Copywriting Proposal?

As a freelance copywriter, you’re probably very familiar with this scenario.

You hear about a job. You send an email to a prospective client with a link to your portfolio and a price quote. Days later, an email comes back with a counter offer.

A flurry of electronic correspondence ensues. Job specifications and pricing negotiations are peppered haphazardly through the email chain. If you do end up winning the bid, you’re sick of the job before it even starts.

There’s a better way. A way to win more new clients, get paid more, and stress less.

You need to put together a copywriting proposal.

Writing up a professional-looking proposal will lift you up into a tier of clientele you only dreamed about in your casual-email-quote days. It takes a little bit more work, but read through to the end, and we’ve got a copywriting proposal template that will streamline the whole process.

The Key Elements of a Copywriting Proposal

A copywriting proposal doesn’t just name the copywriting services and pricing tables. It sells you.

Copywriting is about selling, but sometimes writers forget to apply their talent to their own services.

To sell yourself effectively, you need your sales proposals to do a few things.

First, it’s got to show the client you understand what they need. Next, it must demonstrate why you and your skill set are perfect for the job. Finally, it’s got to present the requirements, including your fees, in a way that makes it very easy for the client to say ‘yes’.

You can accomplish these objectives in a lot of ways, but there are some tried-and-true formats that get the idea across brilliantly. Here are a few:

  • Summary - A brief executive summary of the business objective, the project, and how you intend to approach it. For big clients, this will be the part of the proposal that sells you and your content marketing services to higher-ups in the decision chain, so make it s persuasive as possible.
  • Background - Your experience and credentials as they apply to the project. Testimonials from past clients of successful projects are a great selling point here.
  • Proposed Services - Establish definitive scope to the project. What specifically are you going to do? Are you just writing copy, or are you also consulting on content strategy goals? Is there any research you’ll need to do? Define the specific deliverables.
  • Requirements - What are all the things you’ll need from the client company? Full list of specifications for sales copy? Any information on audience or brand voice? Conversion rate? Lay out everything you possibly think you’ll need up front.
  • Pricing - Follow good copywriting practice before you get to the pricing, so that all of your services demonstrate great value and benefit to the client. Pitch your price as a lump sum, if you can, to avoid the psychological weight of a stacking list of fees.
  • Next Step - This is the Call To Action. Make the next steps to get the ball rolling very easy and clear. Also note that this is not a yes/no proposition; it’s a proposal, and open to negotiation before a final contract is established.
  • Terms and Conditions - Make sure nothing is ambiguous: pricing schedule, parties involved, etc. Lay it all out as simply as you can.

These concepts don’t necessarily need to be presented in discrete sections in your proposal. But you must clearly define them in some form, if you want to make your proposal a winner.

What You Need From The Client BEFORE Writing A Proposal

To really nail your copywriting proposal, you’ll need to get some answers.

Independent research is great, but you won’t be fully on the client’s page until you take a good look at their playbook.

Don’t be nervous about asking for this information early in the process; it shows the client you mean business. Any prospect worth pursuing is going to have this information collected already.

Here are some questions you’ll need to ask to get the specifics of the project:

  • What are the business goals of the project? What are the success markers for accomplishing those goals?
  • What is the market? Who is this for, and what research is available? Is there an established brand voice already?
  • What is the timeline for the project? Any hard deadlines? When will feedback be provided?
  • Who is the client-side contact for the project? What is their availability? Are they the decider, or is there a larger chain that the decision-making process has to go through?
  • Is there already an established budget for the project? What is it?
  • Is there any other information that weighs heavily on the project or the decision-making process?

What NOT To Do When Writing a Copywriting Proposal

Mistakes in tone or content can really cripple a proposal. Here are some of the worst offenders.

Highlighting Service Rather Than Benefit

Remember, you’re not making an offer—you’re selling yourself.

So sell.

Use your copywriting skills to focus on the benefit to the client. Make it clear how each of your services will provide them with value. Throughout the proposal, focus all of your attention on how the information is relevant to the client and their goals.

Failure to Define Deliverables

We’ve all been in projects that have constantly changing specifications. It’s disorienting, demoralizing, and lame.

Avoid this situation by defining the deliverables from the beginning, in terms as specific as possible.

What exactly does the client need, and how do they want it? How many white papers or product descriptions? How many words? Are there SEO needs? Should the final product be in Word documents, PDFs, or Google Docs?

Fuzzy Requirements

You need to know exactly what the client needs.

To do that, whatever information or access you require to begin must be defined clearly and extensively in the proposal.

Otherwise, you’ll send what you think is a great finished product to the client. Then they’ll say it needs to be longer. Or shorter. Or it’s got to have this SEO phrase in it.

Avoid that by establishing ALL of the requirements you’ll need from the client. That way, when you go forward with the project, you can be sure that what you’re sending them is what they want.

Making Call To Action Unclear

A client reads your proposal and thinks it’s great. They’re primed to give you the go-ahead.

Then they get to the end, and there’s no next step.

Make the CTA obvious. Usually, all you need is an invitation to call or email, along with the contact information. It’s very simple, but if the next step is not explicitly defined, you’re making it more difficult for the prospect to hire you.

Additional Resources and Tools

Derek Cromwell’s guest post presents excellent tips, and Ilise Benun’s article lists out a lot of the information you’ll need from a client to put together a really killer proposal.

Copy Hackers has a very in-depth video demonstrating how to build a copywriting proposal, as part of their Tuesday Tutorial series.

Preview: Copywriting Proposal Template

Copywriting Proposal Template Cover Image

{client_name}’s Sales Challenge

Sale's Challenge

Every visitor to {client_name}’s website is an opportunity for {client_name} to generate more leads and buyers. In today’s competitive market, {client_name} needs cost-effective ways to take full advantage of these opportunities. The right digital copywriting services will:

  • Turn a higher percentage of {client_name}'s website visitors into leads and buyers
  • Use compelling language to engage {client_name}’s target customers and motivate them to act
  • Create long-term increases in {cliient_name}’s ROI on both paid and search engine traffic, resulting in a competitive edge

If {client_name} doesn’t invest in copywriting services designed to meet its unique needs, it will continue to waste time and money chasing down customers. Low conversions could pull {client_name}’s attention away from other essential aspects of running its business and slow its long-term growth.

Our Comprehensive Digital Copywriting Solution

Comprehensive Digital

{my_company}’s digital copywriting services will deliver the following results for {client_name}:

  • Streamlined {client_name}’s marketing funnel – You’ve put a lot of time, money, and effort into getting traffic to your website. We’ll tweak your copy to help you make the most of those opportunities. The copy we deliver will make every visitor who comes to your website more valuable because they’ll be more likely to turn into buyers.
  • Connected with {client_name}’s ideal customers and motivated them to buy – We specialize in discovering what motivates the people you want to become customers and tapping into that motivation. We’ll use language and frame our appeals to focus on connecting with this group in a memorable way and screen out all the rest.
  • Developed a cohesive, persuasive voice that fits {client_name}’s brand – In an increasingly competitive online environment, consumers are selective about doing business with only people they know, like, and trust. The copy we’ll write for you is crisp, concise, and compelling, and we’ll be sure to inject your brand’s personality in everything we do. We’ll present this unified voice on your website, email messages, and social media platforms.

Recommendations for Your Company

To meet {client_name}’s needs, as outlined above, we recommend the following services as part of this project:

Analysis and Revamp of {client_name}’s Current Website Copy

{my_company} will begin by analyzing {client_name}'s current website copy. Then, relying on its firsthand observations and expertise, {my_company} will optimize {client_name}’s copy to convert more customers. {my_company} will focus on improving critical conversion elements on {client_name}’s website, such as sales pages, product descriptions, FAQs, and landing pages.

Email Marketing Analysis, Strategy Development, and Execution

{my_company} will assess {client_name}’s email marketing and deliver recommendations to boost engagement and profits. {my_company} will work with {client_name} to develop an email marketing plan. Then {my_company} will put the plan into action by creating engaging emails designed to turn subscribers into customers.

Social Media Analysis, Strategy Development, and Execution

{my_company} will assess how {client_name} is using social media and identify areas for improvement. Then {my_company} will develop a strategic social media plan. The plan {my_company} launches will present a compelling voice for {client_name}’s brand, engage qualified prospects and industry influencers, and build authority in the market.

Engaging Visitors and Increasing Conversions Solution
  • Comprehensive copy analysis – We’ll start with an assessment of your current website copy, email marketing, and social media platforms to determine what’s working well and identify areas where we can boost your conversions.
  • Website copy optimization – We'll work with you to get a clear idea who your ideal customers are. Then, focusing on critical conversion areas on your website, we’ll optimize your copy to engage your target market and turn more visitors into leads and buyers.
  • Ongoing email and social media management – We’ll start out by developing email marketing and social media plans designed to bring in more customers and build your brand. Then we’ll put this plan into action for you for a 3 month-period. Allowing us to craft your email messages and manage your social media presence helps you deliver a consistent voice to prospects and frees up time to focus on other areas of your business.

Why Choose {my_company}?

{client_name} needs to make every aspect of its business as efficient as possible to thrive in the competitive [INDUSTRY] environment, but its greatest strengths lie in delivering high quality products and service to its customers. That’s why you want a company like {my_company} to focus on the details and help you make the most of every visitor. Our expertise, resources, and deep commitment to our craft make us the ideal choice to meet {client_name}’s copywriting needs. We’ll bring the following strengths in our work for {client_name}:

  • {my_company} incorporates search engine-friendly techniques without compromising on engagement or persuasion – We recognize the importance of organic traffic and use cutting-edge techniques to make our copy search engine friendly. But we write for people first and search engines second. Our copy leverages SEO techniques without neglecting timeless elements of human psychology and persuasion.
  • {my_company} uses a holistic approach that leverages email, website, and social media platforms – Our team believes that taking advantage of multiple promotion avenues is the most efficient way to boost your conversions. We help you engage with visitors on your website, in their email inboxes, and on social media platforms for a balanced approach for more customers.
  • {my_company} only works with a handful of clients – We are selective about our clientele, and we choose to work with only a few clients at a time to provide the best possible service. This gives us plenty of time and attention to devote to getting to know your business and brand, making the strategies we execute for you even more effective.

Statement of Work

Should {client_name} choose {my_company} to execute this solution as proposed, our timeline for this project is as follows:

Phase Activities Completion
Comprehensive Copy Analysis Assessment of {client_name}’s current website copy, email marketing, and social media and identification of potential areas for improvement. 06/30/XX
Website Copy Revamp Optimization of {client_name}’s website copy for more conversions, with a focus on critical conversion elements like sales pages, landing pages, product descriptions, and FAQ pages. 07/15/XX
Email and Social Media Platform Strategy Execution and Management Development of email and social media plans to increase conversions and build {client_name}’s brand; ongoing execution of plans by {my_company} with biweekly reports delivered to {client_name}. {client_name} has the option to renew plan management for additional 3-month periods. 10/15/XX

Next Steps

To take advantage of this proposal and proceed with the project as outlined, {client_name}’s next steps must be to:

  • Accept the proposal as-is
  • Discuss desired changes with {my_company}
  • Finalize and sign the contractSubmit an initial payment of 50 percent of total project fee

Next Steps

Once completed, {my_company} will contact {client_name} to schedule a project launch meeting to make introductions and gather information before beginning the work.

We’re happy to make changes to project scope on {client_name}’s request at any time, but may be subject to additional billing.

Terms and Conditions

Once project fee is paid in full to {my_company}, any elements of text, graphics, photos, contents, trademarks, or other artwork furnished to {client_name} for inclusion in website are owned by {client_name}.

{my_company} assumes {client_name} has permission from the rightful owner to use any code, scripts, data, and reports are provided by {client_name} for inclusion in its materials, and will hold harmless, protect, and defend {my_company} from any claim or suit arising from the use of such work.

{my_company} retains the right to display graphics and other web content elements as examples of their work in their portfolio and as content features in other projects.

This agreement becomes effective only when signed by agents of {client_name} and {my_company}. Regardless of the place of signing of this agreement, {client_name} agrees that for purposes of venue, this contract was entered into in [STATE] and any dispute will be litigated or arbitrated in [STATE].

The agreement contained in this contract constitutes the sole agreement between {client_name} and the {my_company} regarding all items included in this agreement.